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UNEP looks at leveraging technology to address environmental issues

24 February 2009

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UNEP and Microsoft Corp recently signed an MoU to work together on leveraging information and communication technology (ICT) solutions to help address today's complex environmental challenges.

The agreement, focusing on facilitating international collaboration and knowledge sharing, was signed during UNEP's 25th session of the Governing Council and Global Ministerial Environment Forum on the theme "Globalization and the Environment", held at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, and attended by more than 100 environment ministers.

The partnership focuses on helping environmental stakeholders - including UNEP and other international organisations, governments, non-governmental organisations and researchers - work more effectively by making use of new technologies.

UNEP and Microsoft are cooperating to support UNEP's mandate of promoting environmental understanding and increasing public knowledge about environmental factors and the problems facing future generations. Areas of cooperation include the following:

* Providing access to research and scientific information on the environment

* Building integrated knowledge platforms to enable better cooperation between different actors

* Supporting the development of applications for environmental sustainability management

"We view our partnership with Microsoft as key to delivering solutions on a scalable level to a community of more than 190 nations and the UN system as a whole," said Achim Steiner, UNEP executive director. "UNEP's ability to mobilise information technology and the platforms for sharing environmental information is a precondition for working together as an international community to tackle environmental issues."

"Without equitable access to information and the capacity for developing countries to engage on an equal level in negotiating key agreements like the climate change treaty or the biodiversity convention, we will not make much progress," he said.

Source : PR Newswire

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